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Over the last few years, there have been more changes occurring across the enterprise than in any other market. The corporate world, which was once loath to even consider modifying roadmaps and buying new products without waiting years to see how they held up, has thrown those old models on their head. Now, more companies than ever are investing in new ideas and products.
Nowhere is that more evident than in the rapid adoption of tablets in the enterprise. From iPads to the Cisco Cius, there are countless products out there that companies are ready and willing to buy. Meanwhile, they’re looking elsewhere around the mobile space to see if there’s anything else worth considering.
As of late, the other mobile form factor worth considering is Ultrabooks. The thin, lightweight, notebook spec created by Intel has made a huge mark on the mobile market. And according to most analysts, in the coming years, they could very well become the most popular notebook form factor on the market.
But as the enterprise becomes more willing to adopt such devices, it’s also thinking about what it should buy right now. In the following slides, we’re going to examine that, and list the five tablets and five Ultrabooks IT decision-makers should be considering bringing to the office.
1. Apple iPad
Apple’s new iPad, which is slated to hit store shelves on March 16, seems to be an ideal tablet option for today’s enterprise user. It’s the tablet that the vast majority of employees want, plus it combines the new A5X processor with the Retina Display to make it a notable step up over the iPad 2. Furthermore, its 4G LTE integration is ideal for employees who are on the road.
2. Acer Aspire S3
The Acer Aspire S3 is one of the most powerful Ultrabooks on the market, boasting a 13.3-inch LED display, Intel’s Core i5 processor, and a design that will make any client take a second to admire when employees break it out of the bag. Plus, it’s running Windows 7, making it a potentially more useful device than a tablet alternative.
Acer Aspire S3
3. Cisco Cius
When Cisco launched the Cius last year, the company made it clear that it didn’t want its device to be an iPad killer. Instead, it hoped that enterprise users would see value in the Cius for its ability to be integrated into existing Cisco products. And although it’s Android-based, it comes with a host of security features that should allay at least some of the fears associated with the operating system.
4. Asus Zenbook
The Asus Zenbook combines the key features that make Ultrabooks so special: power and mobility. The device comes with Intel’s Core i3, i5, or i7 processor, depending on the user’s preference, and boasts either an 11.6- or 13.3-inch display. Add that to its inclusion of a USB 3.0 port and Bluetooth 4.0, and it quickly becomes clear the Zenbook is one worth considering for the office this year.
Image 4: Asus Zenbook
5. RIM BlackBerry PlayBook
Research In Motion has been suffering through an exceedingly difficult time over the last couple years as competitors deliver far more appealing devices. Still, the company’s 7-inch BlackBerry PlayBook is at least worth considering for IT decision-makers that are concerned about Android security and see little value in the iPad. And with its recent addition of native e-mail and contacts support, it’s far more appealing than it was previously.
RIM Blackberry PlayBook
6. Dell XPS 13
Although Dell has lost some of its popularity in the enterprise to companies like HP and Lenovo, the company still delivers a host of high-quality PCs for the corporate world. Chief among them might just be the Dell XPS 13. The Ultrabook boasts a beautifully simple design, and adds serious performance to make it one of the most attractive options in this roundup.
Dell XPS 13
7. Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1
The Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 is designed to be the Android-based alternative to Apple’s iPad. It comes with a 10.1-inch screen, 4G LTE connectivity, and an attractive price tag. That said, it’s designed with consumers in mind, and it lacks many of the security features found in the aforementioned Cisco Cius. So, while it might be a worthwhile option for some, it might turn others away.
Galaxy Tab 101
8. Lenovo IdeaPad U300
Lenovo is one of the top PC makers for enterprise users, and its IdeaPad U300 helps the company continue to appeal to those folks. The device comes with the thin, lightweight design expected from an Ultrabook, and features up to 8 hours of battery life, making it a great option for travelers. Plus, it’s optional 256GB solid-state drive is enough to make any IT decision-maker happy.
9. Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet
Lenovo’s ThinkPad tablet is a unique option for enterprise customers. The device, which is scheduled to get an update to Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) in May, works with a stylus. Even better, it can be docked into a keyboard, letting users turn it into a quasi-notebook. Think of the ThinkPad tablet as a half-tablet, half-Ultrabook hybrid. Not bad, right?
10. Apple MacBook Air
OK, OK, so the MacBook Air isn’t exactly an Ultrabook. But let’s not forget that Apple’s thin notebook was the device that inspired Intel’s new spec. It’s also the device that could greatly impact the adoption of Ultrabooks. So, why might the MacBook Air appeal to enterprise users? It’s well-designed, secure, and perhaps most importantly, benefits from consumerization.